This morning I woke up with my mind racing with thoughts of VBS. Tonight we start our week of learning to “Abide in Christ.” This past week has been crazy to say the least, with all the final stages that need to take place, as well as constant prayer that I would not get in the way. My prayers this morning were filled with petitions for the Lord God to provide, to do a work, to be glorified and lifted high, but also that I would not get overwhelmed, that I would have peace and that He would give me the wisdom to lead this VBS for our children.
As I was praying I was reminded of a scripture passage about serving God, and not serving men. My heart’s desire is that the children would have fun and that they would learn about God, and that those who come and don’t know Jesus would leave VBS knowing Him as their Lord and Savior. But there was something I needed to learn today, a lesson that the Lord needed me to see and to apply to my walk. Today, my words were for the Lord to do the work, but my mind was racing and I was becoming fearful that I would disappoint the children, and my pastor, and their parents. My heart was not in the place the Lord desired it to be. I am in need of much pruning today, and my heart needed to line up with His will, not with my fears.
Paul teaches us in Ephesians 6:5-8 that we are to “be obedient to those who are your masters….with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ.” Paul goes on to say, (and this is where my study begins) “not with eye service, as men pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service as to the Lord, and not to men. Knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is slave or free.” (Vs. 6-8) My desire has been that the children would have fun and that I would not disappoint them or their parents, but the Lord has shown me that my desire should be that I seek to please Him, that I seek to do what He desires for me to do. If I do this, then He will take care of the rest.
It’s easy to say, but very hard to do. “Eye service” is used to describe a servant who does everything right while his master is looking, but neglects his duties when the master is away. It means that diligent service is only performed when the master is looking. It is easy for us to be “servants” when someone is watching, when someone is complimenting you on your “faithfulness” or they say how diligent you are, how great you are…who doesn’t like to hear that?! But the Lord sees you as a servant all the time, not just at church, not just on your job. Our service to the Lord begins in the quiet time, in our time with Him. Who we are in the quiet with Him is who He desires us to be when we are “out in the world” serving Him.
Seeking to please men as we serve means that we are seeking their favor, and not the Lord’s. No matter what we are doing, whether we are working moms, scrubbing toilets, or changing diapers, our hearts should seek to please the Lord Jesus Christ in everything that we do. Not everyone is going to be pleased, not matter how hard you try, there will always be someone who doesn’t agree, or that thinks they know a better way to do things. But if we are seeking to please the Lord God, and do what He has designed for us to do then who cares what they think? Would I not rather please God than man?
Paul goes on to say that we are to do the “will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service as to the Lord, and not to men.” (vs. 7)Doing the will of God simply means that we have sought Him first, we have asked for His desires to be ours and then we go and do them. The Lord has impressed upon me the importance of teaching His children what it means to “Abide” in Jesus, and through His word living and abiding in me, the children will learn and see and come to know Him because I seek to do as He desires, and not as man desires. If the Lord has told you to serve in a specific area, then we must do it as heartily, with all our might, and to Him only.
I may only scrub the toilets for my church, but I scrub those toilets for my True Master, my True Lord, my God and my King. To give “service as to the Lord” means that we yield in obedience to the commands He has given us, and render to Him the services due to Him. We belong to Him, He has bought us with the precious blood of His Son, He has given His very breath for us, and what He asks from us is obedience in all that we do.
As my focus is taken off of all the people around me and the expectations I have for VBS and placed back where they are supposed to be- on Him, then all these little worries and fears that I have melt away. My “service” this week is for Him, and to Him and because of Him. I seek to please Him and do what He has called me to do. In the end, isn’t that all that matters? My heart desire is to hear the Lord Jesus say to me, “Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.” That is all the praise I need to hear. Because that praise lasts an eternity- the praise or lack of praise I receive on earth will fade and die away. My service is for and to the Lord God who gave His life for me. What can man do to me?